It’s always fun to read travel guides to places you know, to see what’s being sold as the real thing and how it compares to your experience. We thus turned with interest to the UK Independent’s recent article, “Maribor Guide: Where To Eat, Drink, Shop And Stay In Slovenia’s Second City”, by Pavlo Fedykovych.
The author touches on the inevitable (the World’s Oldest Vine and the Old Town), gives a very brief look at some cultural options, and then explores what to do in the surrounding environment. The bridge across the Drava is noted as architectural highlight. Turning to Maribor’s restaurant and bar scene, the newspaper presents Mak restaurant and Malca Minogrede among the former, and Piranha Cocktail Bureau and LUFT 360 among the latter.
You can see the full article, and other suggestions for how spend your time in Maribor, here.
Few things go together as well as grilled meat and beer, and fans of this choice combination will have much to enjoy this weekend in Ljubljana, with the 13th edition of the Pivo & Burger Fest coming to town on 14 and 15 September (2019). Run by the team behind Open Kitchen (Odprta kuhna) and happening in the same place, Pogačarjev trg, visitors will be able to enjoy more than 230 craft beers and dozens of stalls offering a great variety burgers and more, from some of the best known names on the scene and with vegetarian and vegan options available.
If you haven’t been following Slovenia’s flourishing craft beer market then you’re in for many surprises. While IPAs are still important, local brewers – from small scale operations like Omnivar, through to established favourites like Pelicon and relative giants like (the semi-Austrian) Bevog – are now exploring a wide range of techniques and flavours, with my own obsession being sours and personal favourite anything from Bevog’s fruity Lolita range. Pivo & Burger Fest is thus a great chance to catch up with such developments, as well as with friends, and a good start, middle or end point for a visit to Ljubljana.
Related: All our stories on craft beer are here
In addition to burgers – which will give the square a thrilling aroma – there will be a variety of foods that go well with beer, as well as desserts and various other delights, including the usual lively music that gives all Open Kitchen events an added party vibe.
Foreigners Speak Slovene enjoy a Pivo & Burger Fest in 2016 - read out interview with them here
On Saturday the event runs from 11:00 to 23:00, while on Sunday it’s 11:00 to 21:00, giving you the opportunity to enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner and supper, with perhaps a quick drink and a snack in between. While I wouldn’t recommend my lifestyle to anyone, as usual when Pivo & Burger Fest comes to town I aim to visit twice on both days, as much for the atmosphere as for the food and drink, with the diet and detox beginning Monday.
September 5, 2019
Every second Sunday in September, hikers from the three countries at the north-western triple border (Tromeja) of Slovenia, Italy and Austria, gather at the top of the 1508m high Peč hill above Rateče and celebrate life with goodwill, polka, food and stunning views.
This year the event has been postponed for a week due to the bad weather forecast. The 40th meeting at Tromeja will therefore take place on Sunday, September 15.
On the Slovenian side of the border the event begins at 08:00, when hikers gather in front of Šurc Guesthouse in Rateče from where they then hike to Tromeja, where food and drinks will be on offer from 09:00, music will be playing and a traditional meeting of mayors from all the three countries will take place. The programme will conclude at 17:00.
The event is organized by the Rateče - Planica, Podklošter and Trbiž Tourist Associations.
STA, 4 September 2019 - Slovenia is up five spots in the latest biannual global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, standing at 36th place among the 140 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek commented on the improvement by saying that Slovenia was on the right track in the field of tourism.
In the 2019 survey, Slovenia scored an average of 4.3 out of seven points based on assessments in 14 elements of competitiveness in four key categories - enabling environment, tourism policy and enabling conditions, infrastructure and natural and cultural resources; two years ago, it placed 41st among 136 countries, down two spots from the 2015 survey, scoring an average of 4.18 points.
Slovenia fared the best in environmental sustainability, placing 8th, while standing in 15th place in terms of security. In infrastructure of road and maritime transport, the country is 20th, in natural resources in 26th, in tourism infrastructure in 27th and in importance of tourism in 33rd place.
In the field of tourism policy and the state of conditions for development, Slovenia placed 18th, which the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) mostly attributes to the growth in importance of tourism.
Minister Počivalšek said as he commented on the report, released on Monday, that it proved Slovenia was on the right track. "We have an adequate strategy, good tourist services and rich natural and cultural heritage, which facilitates a successful sustainable development of tourism," he was quoted as saying by the STO.
The minister is the most proud of the report noting that Slovenia "remains the most competitive economy in the subregion".
Spain, France and Germany remain on the top of the travel and tourism competitiveness rankings, followed by Japan, the US, the UK, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland.
The full report can be found here
Ex-Yu Aviation, your best source for all regional flight news, reports that Adria Airways will replace its flights to Manchester, to be discontinued at the end of the summer schedule, with a twice weekly service to Liverpool.
The flights are set to leave Ljubljana at 06:35 on Wednesdays, and 17:15 on Saturdays. The return trips leave at 08:40 (Wed.) and 19:20 (Sat.). Tickets can already be purchased online.
Ex-Yu Aviation reports that Wizz Air has suspended ticket sales for flights between Longon Luton and Ljubljana for dates after 25 October, with flights not expected to resume until summer 2020. This marks the first time since 2012 that Wizz Air has had no Slovenian flights in winter.
In 2018 a total of 239,727 passengers flew between Ljubljana and London, with easyJet’s Stanstead service taking 47% of these. Wizz Air's Luton flights were the second most popular, and easyJet's Gatwick service the third.
More details can be found at Ex-Yu Aviation.
The second week of September brings a long-standing tradition to Kamnik, along with some 30,000 visitors, as the Days of National Costumes and Clothing Heritage (Dnevi narodnih noš in oblačilne dediščine) returns for its 47th edition, offering a full programme of ethnological, cultural and entertainment events all through the day and into the evening.
Named by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as among the top 20 traditional festivals in Europe, the focal event is always the parade of traditional national costumes, which this year takes place at 15:00 on Sunday, 8 September. This year the traditional Slovenian costumes will be joined by those from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Turkey, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Austria, giving added interest to an already colourful event.
Beyond the parade there’s much for those interested in clothing, history, cultural heritage, music and more to enjoy, with exhibitions at various locations around town along with a traditional art and craft fair and demonstrations in the medieval part of town (5 – 8 September), folk dance and music on in Glavni trg (Saturday and Sunday), workshops for children, street music and an evening entertainment programme that includes live performances from Ansambel Domačini, Skupina Harmonk’n’roll, Skupina Špica, Obvezna smer, Manouche, and Andrej Šifrer, with videos below for your education and entertainment.
The full details are here and you’ll find that it’s a packed and varied festival – a great excuse to (re)visit the many charms of Kamnik and learn more about Slovenia.
With its distinctive bottles and interesting names (Out of China is a way to teach non-Slovenes to say Ajdovščina, The Third Pill is a reference to Slavoj Žižek, Walter Wheat is from Breaking Bad, and so on), Pelicon is one of the leading names on the flourishing Slovenian craft beer scene. This Saturday, August 31, it will be celebrating its 6th birthday with a craft beer festival in its hometown, Ajdovščina, that promises “(almost) endless beer” to ticketholders - which (I checked) means you get to try everything.
All our stories on craft beer in Slovenia are here
More than 40 different beers, foreign and domestic, are on offer, including some novelties and collaborations, with the aim being to highlight the full range of beers now bring produced – porters, sours, lambics and so on – rather than simply dozens of IPAs. There’s thus much for beer hunters to enjoy, while those looking for something different should seek out for Pelicon’s latest venture into the world of tonic water and gin collaborations.
The event, which is also being supported by the Municipality of Ajdovščina, offers food and live music to go along with the beer, starting at 13:00 and ending at 22:00. Sunday morning, from 08:00 till noon, everyone can enjoy a “brewery breakfast” at the Pelicon Brewery showroom itself, with ticketholders getting the added bonus of some beer. More details (in Slovene) are on the brewery’s website.
Pre-sale tickets are already available on the Olaii web portal and at all OMV service stations and 3dva Trafika across Slovenia. The event will be held at MC Hiša mladih, mladinski center, Cesta IV. prekomorske 61, 5270 Ajdovščina.
STA, 26 August 2019 - Kranjska Gora is introducing the first electric mountain bike network in Slovenia to promote sustainable mobility. Cyclists will be able to rent the bikes in nearby Gozd Martuljek and in the centre of Kranjska Gora.
Cycling is a very popular way of exploring the Upper Sava Valley. According to the local tourist information centre, it is the perfect way to experience what the Alpine destination has to offer.
"The Upper Sava Valley offers beautiful cycling routes under the shade of trees from the starting point Topolino in Slovenia across the Rateče border crossing to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in Italy where you can see beautiful mountain peaks," they say.
Apart from promoting the idea of sustainable tourism and e-mobility, the mountain bike network offers an easier way to explore rugged areas and overcome long distances.
Kranjska Gora will be the first to establish the network of e-bikes in Slovenia in cooperation with the company Alp Adventures. Cyclists will be able to rent a custom-made bicycle via a mobile app Green4rent at the cost of six euro an hour or 39 euro per day.
The bikes will be initially available for rent at the Špik campsite in Gozd Martuljek and at the Alp Adventures rental shop in the centre of Kranjska Gora.
Next year, the municipality will expand its network by improving the system and setting up new renting spots. According to the director of the Kranjska Gora Tourist Board Blaž Veber, their wish is to offer the combination of bicycles and tourist buses in the future.
The tourist board included all the possibilities of public transport in the area of Julian Alps in one brochure this year.
"It will be very useful to our visitors because there are many transport possibilities in this area and we had not been able to get all the information about routes, prices, frequencies and stopping points in the past," explained Veber.
If you have finished high school, are fluent in Slovenian, have knowledge of English and basic comprehension of another language, as well as good health and fitness, then you have the opportunity to apply for a job as one of the Ljubljana-based cabin crew for Adria Airways.
The positions are full time, open to applicants with from 0 to 1 year of work experience, and the deadline to send in your CV is 22 September (2019). More details – in Slovenian – can be found here.
Over at singletracks.com Brian Gerow has written a great account of a mountain biking trip to Slovenia based at Ecohotel Koroš in Jamnica, the first Mountain Bike Hotel in the country.
The story is in two parts, over and underground, with the latter taking place along a 2.5km track in an abandoned lead mine (Mežica Mine), an adventure that’s only for the most confident mountain bikers.
Above ground Ecohotel Koroš has many less challenging tracks to explore, and the site is slowly gaining a place on the international circuit, having been part of the Enduro World Series in 2018 and hosting the event again in 2020.